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Relationships are messy + delicious. Learn about how Robyn D'Angelo, The Happy Couple Expert uses science to effectively help couples in Orange County, California to master the messiness of relationships while learning how to love + be loved, better.

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Filtering by Tag: travel

Take a Solo Trip to Reconnect with Your Partner

Emily Porta


Hi there! I'm getting ready to go on a trip without my husband.  And I get excited about this for a couple reasons, because I know the importance of space and time away from my partner.  I'm not excited to get away from him.  I'm excited to go do something that I've had planned that I know is both for my business and for pleasure, to connect with friends, because I know when I go and take care of myself, I am more alive and I feel inspired and I'm more motivated. 

When I come back to my partner, it completely changes the way we connect.  It changes how we engage with one another.  It changes how we relate to one another and it enhances our relationship. And I share this with you because I encourage you to look at your schedule and look at just your lives and do you have space to create, not to make, but to create and actively go and schedule something just for you? Whether it's business related or personally, you know enriching. 

Can you do that?  In the next week or two, can you take a look at your calendar and schedule something so that when you go away, you can recharge, get revived and return to your partner a new person? 

Alright and I want to hear from you-- what did you guys decide to do? And how did it go when you returned back and talked with your partner?  Remember, it's all about taking care of us, so that we can show up the best version of ourselves for our partners. 

How to Stay Connected Through Travel

Emily Porta

Staying connected to your partner when one or both of you travel often doesn't have to be tough. Check out this video and learn tips for you and your partner. 

Did these help you? I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me directly


Hi. Robyn D'Angelo here, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Relationship Specialist.  Today I'm talking to you about couples who, either one or both of them, tend to travel a lot and it puts a lot of stressors on the relationship. And I want to talk about ways to stay connected even though there's travel involved. So, first of all, I want to talk to the traveling partner, the one who's going on business trips often. There's three things I want you to do. Number one is to prepare for your trips physically and mentally by really being present with your partner and/or your family. So what I encourage are creating what I call technology-free zones or times. So, take three or four days leading up to your planned trip and--no cell phones, no iPads, no video games--and just connect with your family and with your partner. The second thing I want you to do is really appreciate your partner--and that's while you're on your trip and even when you're coming back, which means, "Thank you so much for, you know, holding down the fort." Because it does take a lot of work, even if kids aren't involved, just to make sure that all the things that are part of our everyday lives get done. Because you as a partner contribute a lot to your relationship, so when you're gone, it does put added stress on your partner. So they want to feel appreciated too. The last thing I want you to do is think about rituals you can create upon your return. And I recommend doing this ahead of time and include your family, include your partner and what that can look like is, say you get picked up from the airport after your long trip, you guys already know we're going straight to the movies or we're going to go on a bike ride or maybe that just means we're gonna go find the biggest roller coaster that we can find and just—and mentally and physically shift from work to family or work to your partner. It can be really, really powerful. And now I want to speak to the partner who is not traveling.  There's also three things I want you to do.  The first one is to plan. And that starts about a week out from whatever your partner's trip is, so that looks like talking to them about, you know, "What do you got going on on your trip? Here's what I've got going on.  Are there--if there's kids involved, are there sports?  Any other extracurricular activities? Where, when do I take them? Am I in charge of snacks?"  Have that conversation, so that you guys are both comfortable while your partner's gone.  Second thing I want you to do is reach out while your partner is gone. And that can be as simple as putting a little note in his wallet or, you know, shooting her a little text, "Just thinking about you," or even sending a little snack up to their hotel room just saying, you know, "I appreciate you. I appreciate how hard you work for our relationship and our family." The last thing I want you to do is get excited when they come home. There's no worse feeling than walking in the door after being gone for several days on a work trip that's exhausting and nobody notices or nobody says anything. Make sure to greet your partner with a hug and, I always recommend the six second kiss, and just see what happens.  Notice how grateful your partner is and just watch them light up. I hope this has been helpful. Obviously, this is just a tidbit of all the ways that you can connect with your partner, so if you'd like to learn more, please email me at robyn@therapywithrobyn.com or you can call me directly 714-390-1652.  And I look forward to hearing from you. Talk to you again soon[Transcribed by NMS]

Tell Me Your Story

Emily Porta

A man and a woman sat in the row in front of me on the plane home. For the next hour I picked up on snippets of their conversation. They bonded at first when they discovered they had both gone skydiving. They shared their experiences as though no one else but the other that had gone through that experience, could possibly understand. The conversation continued and with each story they got deeper and deeper into their connection. The man shared how his daughter had Bi-Polar disorder and refused to get the help she needed. He talked of the pain and fears that come with an adult child struggling through mental illness. The woman shared how she survived on $1,000 a month but how she was happy. She was single, hated children and understood what it was like to struggle with mental illness. They both had a drink, toasted to the skies, got off the plane and stood at the baggage claim on opposite ends, never acknowledging each other again. 

Even amongst strangers we want to be known. And in the sharing of the story, you never know how it will change the other person. But what I find most important is how when you share your story, it changes you. You get a new perspective. You create the language associated with the story. You can be the victim or the survivor. You might be successful or lucky. You get to choose how the story is told. You get to decide if it is told with compassion.

Often at the second session in therapy I will ask a client how they felt after their first session. Responses I hear generally are summed up with "it felt good to share." "It was nice to get it off my chest." It is as if in the telling of the story, there is an exchange of energy where the storyteller because lighter and more free. What a gift to be able to tell your story. Some have no one to listen. Or those that have a listener can feel judged.

Therapy is that space of genuine transformation. You tell, I listen and as the story is told, your life changes. It may be slow at first but months down the road, you don't recognize the old perspectives and language you once used. I would love to hear your story